At the beginning of 2018, the Building Engineering Services Association published updated DW/172 specifications for kitchen ventilation system ventilation, encompassing requirements for the use of equipment such as solid fuel cookers, which have grown in popularity. So just over a year since the latest revisions, how have these affected the manufacturers in this sector, and what do dealers need to know for when they specify canopies and associated systems?
According to Britannia Kitchen Ventilation’s commercial director Tony Bright: “With the constant and rapid development of kitchen equipment it was only right that the ventilation industry specification that assists in ensuring a safe and comfortable working environment should be updated to reflect a market which has developed dramatically in the last 10 years.
“With updated design specifications, the document acts as a strong resource for reference, although there are instances where in-house experience gained over many years overrules the guide. Hopefully the document will undergo a more regular review process than it did previously in order to ensure that it stays relevant and up-to-date.
“The main benefit for the industry as a whole is that it has a central document for manufacturers to work to and as a result end users can be confident that what they are getting has good design at heart.”
For his own company, he believes: “IMC Britannia has always been innovative in its thinking, and the new inclusions, where relevant within DW/172:2018, are already included as standard within our product range. This has allowed our in-house research and development team to remain fully focused on the next round of innovative, energy efficient products and designs which will ensure that we continue to lead the market.”
Bright advised distributors: “Despite the DW/172:2018 document release being nearly a year old it is important that dealers take note of the changes to the airflow co-efficient calculations – this is especially the case where specifications cross versions and the specifications require compliance with DW/172.
“The treatment of solid fuel appliances, and in particular wood appliances, continues to be a hot topic amongst dealers and we would always encourage compliance with DW/172:2018 alongside HSE Catering Information Sheet 26 which is the reference document for ventilation of solid fuel appliances. Always seek assistance from a professional ventilation supplier to ensure adequate controls are in place for reduction of fire risk and removal of noxious by-products of combustion.”
At Peterborough-based CK Direct, senior design engineer Martin Culham said of DW/172: “The updated version addresses the solid fuel issue which was always a ‘grey area’ and expands the co-efficiency table which I find useful.
“CK Direct has always designed strictly in accordance with DW/172 version one and we have adapted our products and design to adhere to version two.”
He feels that dealers should be aware of alterations to the ventilation requirements for solid fuel-burning appliances, especially wood-burning, “as these need separate systems which is often overlooked”.
Elsewhere, Halton UK MD Steve Mason had this to say: “With the advancements in technology, processes (for both cooking equipment and ventilation), design, knowledge and understanding of the kitchen environment that has increased dramatically since DW/172 was first published, it is only right that the guidelines are revised and updated.
“When you also consider general health and safety improvements and occupational health awareness, there is so much more for a design team to consider. This new version of DW/172 has helped remove the large proportion of ambiguity that existed in the previous guidelines. With the details being more concise, it gives all reputable manufacturers a greater opportunity to advise the client with what is now really needed.
“There are many more considerations that have gone into this edition, which will increase the general knowledge of kitchen ventilation designers, dealers and clients alike. For it to have been published in the way it has been, the time and effort by those involved really should be applauded by all.”
In terms of resulting ventilation product modification, Mason commented: “I think most manufacturers will have taken this opportunity to look at their product offering and consider if or how they can improve, to exceed the new requirements. Not only in product offerings and production practices, but also into the training and education of the impact created by these the new revisions.”
Halton’s UK MD also called for designers and suppliers to be aware of many different factors relating to the new standards. He detailed: “From the changes in calculating the extract and supply volumes, to the recommendations regarding the positioning of access panels, to lighting and emergency lighting.
“Particular attention should also be given to the section on solid fuel appliances, with its very particular set of requirements. There has been a dramatic rise in the numbers of solid fuel appliances gracing commercial kitchens over the last few years so it is imperative that all concerned are fully aware of the dangers a bad ventilation design can cause, as well as the safe methods of dealing with these appliances.”
He continued: “Additionally there is a greater emphasis on the filtration, both in the canopy for grease removal, and the control of pollutants being extracted from commercial kitchens to atmosphere. With local government guidelines becoming even more stringent, effective and suitable pollution control is critical to the ventilation design.
“Another consideration for all dealers to be aware of is demand controlled kitchen ventilation. With such a huge proportion of energy being wasted from commercial kitchens, and the financial implications that has on the end client in running costs, ‘on demand’ solutions that are proven to be effective can enable the end client to make considerable savings in their day-to-day business. It will not be suitable for every application, but make the client aware at the early stages of what is possible, so they can make an informed decision.”
One man who has an in-depth knowledge of the latest guidance is HVAC’s general manager, Ian Levin, who was on the DW/172 Author’s Group and Experts Panel.
He commented: “At HVAC Kitchen Ventilation, for many years we have been striving to increase the quality of kitchen ventilation across the catering and building services sectors.
“Without doubt, the new edition of DW/172 (Second Edition 2018) is highly beneficial to the design of kitchen ventilation canopies and systems. It was written impartially by a team of the industry’s leading experts with significant input from kitchen ventilation manufacturers and installers, including information researched with the help of the catering, gas, controls and fan industries.
“The document goes even further than previous editions by raising standards of health and safety, eliminating confusion or misinterpretation, increasing system quality and generally levelling the playing field by eliminating the many areas of bad practice which still exist in the industry.”
Nevertheless, Levin warned: “However, the catering industry and in particular catering dealers and distributors need to get fully behind DW/172 by understanding its basic requirements and by insisting that ventilation suppliers and designers work strictly to this long-lived specification. In fact, this edition of DW/172 is so well respected that it has been adopted as the benchmark specification for kitchen ventilation in many countries around the world and is now even translated for sale in several different languages.”
Confirming that HVAC’s product and system design reflects the DW/172 requirements, he said: “Our extensive and historically proven offering comprises a range of extremely high quality canopies coupled with intelligently engineered extract and supply-air systems, project managed and installed to the very highest standards.
“All products are available with the latest technical advancements such as integral low-energy recessed LED lighting as standard, in-canopy ultra-violet grease and odour control systems, high efficiency grease separator and air filtration systems, air tempering and intelligent system control panels. All designs incorporate energy efficient components and controls wherever possible including options for demand controlled kitchen ventilation systems where appropriate.”
Elsewhere, Trivent MD Ian Wilman is another supporter of the DW/172 update. “We feel that the revision was required to update the standard into the newly developed catering appliances that are being widely utilised in current designs that were not covered by the previous standard without applying experience and common sense,” he said.
“The additional section applicable to solid fuel catering also resolves a number of potential issues and ensures what should be a common standard throughout. However, it can prove quite difficult for a client to understand the requirements when they are under the impression that they can purchase a gas interlock system for £300 on the internet.”
He revealed: “Following the introduction of the revised specifications we have made minor changes to our design practices in order to achieve conformity, although the majority of the requirements were already being met.”
According to Wilman: “A number of items within the updated standards do impact upon cost. As such, dealers need to ensure that they are offering a compliant system and that the client is aware of this fact, as it has been noted that some competitors are still not implementing the new specification.”
DW/172 is not the only standard to be recently revised, as the TR/19 guidelines relating to ductwork cleaning were also given a facelift by BESA. Wilman gave a cautious welcome to this move, saying: “Whilst the TR19 guidelines are beneficial, we are finding that installations and deep cleans are now being policed by ‘TR19 consultants’ employed by clients operating chains of sites.
“Their requirements tend to go beyond the general interpretation of TR19 in that extract fan attenuators serving kitchen extract systems should be installed with removable splitters so that they can be cleaned. The amount and size of cleanout doors should be based upon being able to physically clean the ductwork from safe access points without entering the duct beyond head and shoulders, which can substantially increase the number of doors required, resulting in dilemmas when submitting competitive tenders.”
While CK Direct’s Culham added: “TR/19 has not really impacted my designs as I always install access doors where needed and to regulations.”
Furthermore, HVAC’s Levin explained: “Generally speaking, TR/19 is a publication which is about system cleaning and maintenance. BESA has been diligent in producing DW/172 and TR/19 to reflect the current and likely future requirements of health and safety on cleaning and maintenance on kitchen ventilation systems.
“As such, the design of our systems is based on DW172. Providing that the requirements of DW172 are followed properly, then a system should enable cleaning and maintenance companies to carry out their operations as efficiently as possible. All of our products and systems are designed with easy-access, easy-to-clean, snag-free maintenance in mind. Prevention is better than cure and so the best solution is to reduce the quantity of contaminants entering the vent system by utilising upfront grease destruction technologies and high-efficiency separation within the collection canopy itself.”
Levin concluded: “Dealers and distributors should become conversant with DW172 and TR/19 and gain a basic understanding of what they stand for – and even consider some basic training. There are experts out there to help with the details so there is no need to learn chapter and verse, but it is worth knowing when a ventilation installation is right or wrong.
“More than ever, dealers and distributors should insist upon using only properly qualified and vetted ventilation experts for carrying out their kitchen ventilation designs and using current member contractors of BESA will take away most of the risk in dealing with many of the less reputable practitioners out there. After all, these documents and organisations exist to protect and reduce commercial risks for those who work with them.”
CESA was part of the consultative group that helped compile the latest DW/172 kitchen ventilation guidelines update, published by BESA in 2018.
Chair of CESA John Whitehouse commented: “Kitchen ventilation is a critical area and the regulations need to keep pace with the rapid changes in terms of both prime cooking technology and health and safety advice. DW/172 is the code of practice and de facto standard to follow for kitchen ventilation.
“The inclusion of guidance for solid fuel appliances is a particularly welcome addition to the latest version. It’s a subject that’s close to the hearts of equipment manufacturers and suppliers – special ventilation systems are required for any operator cooking on solid fuel appliances so it’s very important that the correct advice is now available to keep operators, their staff and their customers safe.”
And on the topic of the latest round of TR/19 guidelines for ductwork cleaning, he added: “By putting the emphasis on maintaining and cleaning, the guidelines help ensure that the ductwork design can be maintained to the relevant performance level. This is absolutely vital, since a considerable number of fires in commercial kitchens are the result of build-up of grease in ducts.”
Whitehouse advised dealers: “If they are not aware of the guidance in terms of solid fuel appliances then they should be. Using solid fuel is becoming more popular due both to the flavour it gives food and the theatre it can add to the dining experience. Having said that, the standards cannot easily be summarised – dealers need to read and implement the guidance covering all areas of ventilation to ensure their projects are fit for purpose.”